Ma Po Tofu (Spicy Szechwan Bean Curd)

Recipe by Daydream
READY IN: 55mins




  • Place 1 tablespoon of the chopped ginger in a medium-sized bowl, and reserve the remainder.
  • Add the remaining marinade ingredients to the bowl (1 sliced spring onion, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 tablespoon of Chinese rice wine, 2 teaspoons cornstarch), and mix well.
  • Add the ground beef or pork, give it another stir and set aside for approx 30 minutes.
  • Place the tree ears or shiitake mushrooms in small bowl, pour over boiling water, and soak for about 15 minutes until they are soft and gelatinous.
  • Drain the soaked tree ears, rinse, remove hard stems, and slice finely.
  • Blanch the tofu in boiling water for 2- 3 minutes, then drain.
  • Combine the garlic with the reserved ginger, and process together with a stick blender or spice grinder until they form the consistency of a thick paste.
  • Heat a wok over a moderately high flame.
  • Add the peanut oil, and just as it is starting to smoke, add the garlic/ginger paste and stir-fry, stirring continuously, for approximately 30 seconds.
  • Next add the brown bean paste, Szechwan chile paste, water chestnuts and tree ears, and stir-fry for a further minute.
  • Give the meat mixture a stir, add it to the wok, and continue to stir-fry over high heat for two to three minutes, until it loses its pinkish color.
  • Toss in the tofu and the sliced green onions and continue to toss and fry for about 45 seconds.
  • Finally, add the sugar and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the soy sauce& water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to moderate and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the Szechwan pepper corns and stir thoroughly.
  • If there appears to be too much liquid in the wok contents, thicken with a little cornstarch and water.
  • Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil and season to taste with salt.
  • Serve with steamed rice, and garnish with cilantro.